My journey - Rachel Hopkins
Congratulations to Rachel Hopkins, who has been appointed as the new CEO of Diversity Works New Zealand (formerly the Equal Employment Opportunity Trust), starting in April. Rachel has also just been appointed to the Board of leading crowd funder PledgeMe, a fast-growing social enterprise that “helps kiwis fund the stuff they care about”.
Rachel Hopkins was a Future Director with NZX listed AWF Madison Group in 2015 and the recipient of Auckland Branch’s 2016 Emerging Director Award. She has taken advantage of all the IoD has to offer – having completed the Company Directors’ Course and is working toward becoming a Chartered Member. In a volunteer capacity, she sits on the Establishment Board of New Zealand’s first Women’s Fund. The Women’s Fund is a collective philanthropy initiative, led by the Auckland Foundation, specifically to benefit women and girls.
Rachel credits her move to her first CEO role to the strong encouragement and mentoring she has received through both the Future Directors’ programme and Emerging Director award. “I am so lucky to have had access to mentors and their experience, so I have put their advice into action to make sure I benefitted from it. Whenever I have asked for support, they have been incredibly generous with their wisdom and time. I am very excited about the opportunity to have a leadership role in the area of diversity and inclusion. There is much work to do in this space – particularly in governance - and I will be #pressingforprogress.”
Stepping up to the boardroom
Sara Brownlie MInstD is taking on a challenge.
The accountant and financial consultant has accepted the new role of external director on the board of New Zealand IT company Catalyst, making her one of the few women in the IT governance space. It's her first professional governance role and comes off the back of a series of career moves aimed at transitioning from the finance team to the boardroom – moves that have paid off.
Brownlie has completed the Company Directors' Course and throughout 2017 she participated in the IoD's Future Directors programme.
She was appointed a Future Director by the State Sector and got to participate on the Department of Corrections board. The board also provide access to a mentor, Department of Corrections Risk and Audit Committee Chair Peter Schuyt for 12 months, who guided her before meetings and debriefed her after meetings. This was Brownlie’s first experience of formal mentoring and she says the experience enabled her to understand better what she could contribute at board level.
"I learned to understand how I participated at the meetings and to see what other members brought to the table. It allowed me to start to see what I could bring."